Visual health project benefits professional drivers

April 2, 2019
Project offers free consultations and affordably priced glasses
According to figures from the World Health Organization, Brazil ranks fourth in the world when it comes to the number of traffic fatalities. Meanwhile, the Vision Impact Institute estimates that 59% of traffic accidents worldwide are related to poor eyesight. In order to help reduce these numbers, the “How Do You See the World?” project is being run by Instituto Ver & Viver (IVV), a social institution funded by contact lens manufacturer Essilor, and the Nissan Institute, the social arm of Japanese auto maker Nissan. On Saturday, March 30, the project benefited drivers employed by the municipal government of Resende and partners, including taxi drivers, civil police officers and bus drivers. More than 300 professionals were given access to the complete eyesight correction cycle at Parque das Águas Municipal Nursery. Following eye tests, drivers were able to choose from a wide range of eyeglass frames to acquire.
According to a study by the Brazilian Traffic Medicine Association (ABRAMET), more than 50% of professional drivers only see an ophthalmologist when they renew their driver’s license, every five years. The association also found that poor eyesight increases the risk of traffic accidents in the country 2.5-fold.
Ana Lúcia Abranches, the coordinator of the local Traffic Education Department, said that there are around 480 professional drivers based in the municipality. The How Do You See the World? project, which provided 500 places for eyesight tests, was part of a trial. The goal is to make Resende the first municipality in Brazil to check the eyesight of all its professional drivers.
The glasses will be handed out on May 11, during Yellow May, a national campaign to raise awareness about traffic safety.

The initiative

The project consists of screening people, giving them free consultations performed by three ophthalmologists, and then offering them affordable glasses (including frames and lenses) for as little as R$99. The cost may be paid in up to 10 credit card installments or in a single payment using a bank payment slip.